My husband actually found this meal! Michael was browsing the Food Network website one day a few weeks ago and came across this recipe from Giada
Bobblehead De Laurentiis.
Reading the measurements for the recipe, it was clear to me that we would need to double it to make a normal sized dinner. As I’ve mentioned before, we like to have leftovers.
This recipe is so simple (not many ingredients), it was hard to believe that it would really be all that tasty. But I was pleasantly surprised. Using a tip given by someone in the reviews of the recipe, I made sure to buy diced tomatoes that were Italian seasoned so that the tomatoes were already infused with flavor.
Making this meal creates a LOT of dirty dishes. The nice thing, however, is that you can finish up all of the dishes and cleanup while it is baking, resulting in very little fuss after dinner (very nice!).
Italian Baked Chicken & Pastina
(Source: Giada De Laurentiis, “Everyday Italian”)
– 1 box small pasta (we used a 14 oz. box of Whole Wheat Barilla Rotini)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 lb. cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
– 1 cup diced onion (about one small onion)
– 2 clove garlic, minced
– 1 (30-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (get the ones with Italian seasoning! i.e. basil, olive oil, garlic, etc.)
– 2 cups shredded mozzarella
– 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (we used a small handful of dried parsley instead)
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– 1/2 cup bread crumbs
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
– 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish (we omitted the butter and just used olive oil cooking spray for the baking dish)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.
3. Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
5. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered (or greased with cooking spray) 9″ x 13″ x 2″ baking dish.
6. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter (optional).
7. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
P.S. Today was the 7th anniversary of the night Michael and I met. Crazy!
AboutI'm Heather. I'm 33 and have been married to Michael for seven years. Together, we have two beautiful little girls we love more than anything, and a miniature dachshund who drives us crazy. I'm a full-time working mom who has very little time for my own "stuff" these days, like home improvement, cooking/baking, cake decorating, and photography. Despite the team not making the playoffs since 1999, I'm STILL a Buffalo Bills fan, which I think speaks to my loyalty AND sense of humor. I can't wait to pick up the pace with travel again some day... you know, when we're done being ruled by tiny fists. Welcome to my blog.
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